Malacañang does not see modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) extension in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas, citing the economy cannot afford longer lockdown.
“Tatapatin ko po kayo, hindi na po kaya ng ekonomiya ang mas matagalan pang lockdown,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing on Tuesday.
(I’ll be honest with you. Our economy could not handle the prolonged lockdown.)
Roque reiterated that the main reason for bringing back MECQ was to give health frontliners a breather amid the COVID-19 surge and to strengthen the government’s response to the pandemic. Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal will be under MECQ from August 4 to 18.
“Nandoon na po tayo sa punto na siguro nga po mapapabagal nang husto ang COVID-19, pero habang wala pong hanapbuhay eh paano naman po mabubuhay ang mga ordinaryong mga mamamayan,” he said.
“Ang problema po ngayon sa dalawang linggo na lockdown, saan po makakakuha ng ayuda dahil nga po wala ng batas na naipasa ang Kongreso,” he added.
(The problem now is with the two-week lockdown, where can we get help because there is no law passed by Congress.)
The government will release economic data for the second quarter tomorrow, Thursday.
“Lalabas ngayon ang pigura ng second quarter GDP growth natin, napakatindi po ng ibinaba ng ating ekonomiya. Kaya nga po ang aming mensahe sa ating taumbayan, kinakailangan po ingatan ang ating kalusugan para po tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay,” Roque said.
(The figure for our second-quarter GDP growth will come out, our economy declined significantly. That is why our message to our people is that we need to take care of our health so that we can earn a living.)
Before the reimposition of MECQ, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the worst is over for the Philippines and now, though fragile, is on its way to economic recovery.
“The worst is over. But while we’re not out of the woods yet, we have to look beyond this crisis,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno
said in a virtual forum.